Horrible State Of Affairs
Steele Scrapbook - September 16, 1885


The Chinese in California Breeding Disease and Pestilence.

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., Sept. 16.--The discovery yesterday afternoon of the horrible practices of the Chinese in preparing the bones of their dead fellow countrymen for shipment to China, which have been carried on under the very nose of the city authorities, has created deep and intense excitement. The knowledge that such a mass of putrification was lying exposed in the very heart of the city while at the same time the drainage and sewers of the city are known to be in a filthy condition, has created a feeling of fear for the health of the city. After all the boxes containing the remains of the dead Chinamen had been removed to the Morgue, the carman was interviewed in regard to the matter. He stated that when he arrived at the cellar in which the bodies were stored, and in which putrified remains, which had still to be boiled, were lying, he set to work to break open the boxes. There was some sixty bodies in all. Each box contained a tin case, in which carefuly wrapped in oil cloths were a number of human bones. The smaller bones and long strips of skin were wrapped up in separate parcels and placed within the larger ones. On the outside of each box was a label bearing Chinese characters, giving the name of the dead persons within so that the remains could be identified by relatives in China. After having opened several of the boxes the Coroner concluded to seize the whole lot and remove them to the Morgue. Express wagons were called for the purpose. While the cases were being placed in the wagon, some of them rolled off and fell to the pavement, breaking open and exposing the contents. The crowd which had assembled upon hearing the cause of the excitement jumped on the bones, and in their indignation trod them under foot. The police quickly interposed, and the loading continued without further interruption. The remains were removed to the morgue.

Most of the boxes containing remains were, on examination, found to have come from cities in the interior of the State. The remains were shipped from there to San Francisco in common tea boxes. Those that come from the interior are boiled and prepared before shipment, so that no odor is perceptible on the route. Only those removed from San Francisco cemeteries have flesh still on them when brought for preparation to the cellar. It was the intention to have shipped all these on the steamer City of Pekin, which sails Saturday next. It is rumored that the Chinese Six Companies will bring an action against the coroner for the removal of the boxes and remains.

Unceremoniously Stolen From Alf

Dreadful Sentiments...